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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Cajun-Style Jambalaya

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A great way to be transported from your dining room to the French Quarter is with my Cajun-Style Jambalaya! This one-pot wonder is done in layers. What I mean is, I’m going to season and cook each layer as I go, building layers of flavor.

The first is to prep all the vegetables.

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Next, on to the proteins for this dish.

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I marinate the chicken and shrimp in a mixture of olive oil,  Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, along with a Cajun seasoning blend.

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Once you season the shrimp transfer them to the refrigerator until they ready to be added to the pot. They’re the last ingredient to be added to this dish.

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Slice the sausage.

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The liquids along with the tomato paste are ready. So we are ready to start!

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 2 large mixing bowls, large platter

Marinade For Chicken And Shrimp:
Shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 yellow onion, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 green onions, white parts sliced, (green tops sliced on the bias save for garnish)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 12-ounce package Andouille sausage sliced (5 links)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning
1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
1 28-ounce can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
3 cups of chicken stock, unsalted

Directions:
1. In a large preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Stirring frequently, add garlic, Fresno chili, (white parts) green onions, dried oregano, fresh thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

2. Add in marinated diced chicken. Cook until golden brown, 5 minutes

3. Add in bell peppers, diced onion, diced Poblano pepper, tomato paste, sliced Andouille sausage, and stir through. Cook until fragrant, 4 minutes.

4. Add chicken stock, Cajun seasoning blend, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, and rice cover reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed around 25 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook until shrimp are pink and just cooked through around 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Turn heat off and the green onion tops for garnish, stir to combine.

Serve hot. This is my Cajun-Style Jambalaya.

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Homestyle Taco Meat

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The key to a really great taco is the meat. Simmered low and slow with a lot of bold flavors can take a taco to the next level. Don’t stop there, pick your choice of a vessel to serve your tacos, also important. Finally, finish by using your favorite ingredients full of bright colors and textures to fill your tacos. Eye candy, is the best phrase I’d use to describe these tacos.

This is my recipe for Homestyle Taco Meat.

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Oregano

I’m using two fresh herbs for my tacos. Oregano from my Hanging Herb Garden and fresh cilantro.

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Stuffing (2)

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Olive Oil

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Arugula

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

If you want my recipe for Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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You can choose between using plum tomatoes or grape tomatoes for your Pico de Gallo.

Pico de gallo

If you’d like my recipe for Pico de Gallo, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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If you’d like my recipe for Chunky-Style Guacamole, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

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How about these Tex-Mex-Style Baguette Pizzas? Buy a jar of your favorite taco sauce to smear over grilled baguettes, top with shredded cheese. Place them under the broiler until the cheese becomes lightly golden brown and bubbly. Top with my Homestyle Taco Meat and fresh Pico de Gallo.

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Red Onion

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Cilantro

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (12 tacos)
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 3 large mixing bowls

Note: A variety of fresh salsas and Pico de gallo are now available in the refrigerated section of the produce department in most grocery stores. Take advantage of these products to use as ingredients for taco meat, even guacamole.

Ingredients For Taco Meat:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground chicken, lean ground sirloin, or turkey)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 lime, juiced
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups of beef stock, unsalted
3/4 cup of store-bought fresh salsa (cantina-style)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of sliced green onions, reserve green tops for garnish, thinly slice the tops on the bias

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
1 1/2 tablespoons of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano

Note: Recipe yields approx. 1/4 cup of taco seasoning.
Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

Options For Tacos:
2 boxes of crunchy taco shells (substitute soft corn tortillas)
2 (8-ounce) packages of Mexican blend shredded cheese
limes
Arugula
Avocados
Red onion, finely diced
Cilantro for garnish
Green onion tops for garnish

Directions For Taco Meat:
Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and the diced onions. Stir and cook until the onions begin to soften and become translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the ground pork, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, diced green onions (the white parts), minced Fresno chili, minced garlic, dried oregano, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper into the pan.

Using a wooden spoon break up the meat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and fresh Pico de gallo, stir to combine. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, fresh lime juice, and beef stock. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.

At this point, all the liquid and seasonings have absorbed into the meat giving you a deep beefy flavor. Turn the heat off and add in the sliced green onion tops and cilantro leaves, mix to combine.  Transfer to a large serving bowl. It’s Taco Night!

To serve. I prefer the crunchy taco shells but really it’s totally up to you! This is my HomestyleTacos Meat.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice With Black Beans

Chunky-Style Guacamole

My Hanging Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

Pico de Gallo

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Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

 

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My Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash is a great substitute for mash potatoes. By roasting the cauliflower and the garlic intensifies the depth of flavor in this dish. I’ve also added spices that are both earthy and smokey in flavor. I’m going out on a limb here by saying this dish is life-changing!

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash (2)

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Garlic: 35 to 40 minutes
Cook Time For Cauliflower: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Equipment: 10 cup food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, chef’s knife, 1-quart saucepot

Ingredients For Roasted Cauliflower Mash:
1 to 2 heads of cauliflower (2-pounds) broken into florets (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole head of garlic, roasted
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, extra for garnish
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of heavy cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons of butter, unsalted and melted
Fresh chives for garnish

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Cut a head of garlic lengthwise, leaving the head intact with all the cloves connected. Season with 1 teaspoon of  Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle each half with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Wrap each half in foil and place onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place into the oven on the top rack. Roast for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done if the center clove is completely soft when pierced with a paring knife.

Note: For a deeper golden brown and more caramelized garlic flavor extend the roasting time.

While garlic is roasting start prepping the cauliflower.

Directions For Roasted Cauliflower:
Adjust oven temperature to 450-degrees F.
Cut the core out and break up the cauliflower into large florets. Spread them out onto two baking sheet pans in one even layer. Sprinkle on half (1/2) of the ground cumin, the remaining Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, and the remaining with olive oil. Toss the cauliflower florets all around with your hands to make sure all they’re all really well coated.

Remove the garlic from the oven. Allow to cool down for 10 minutes. Carefully open the hot foil packet allowing the garlic to cool down enough to handle.

Place the cauliflower in the center position of the oven, roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and tender. Double-check by taking a fork and pricking the florets to see if they”re nice and tender. If they need a few more minutes, leave them in but keep your eye on them.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade add the roasted cauliflower florets. Squeeze the softened roasted garlic into the processor. Add the remaining ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,  melted butter, and heavy cream. Blend until smooth and mashed potato-like. Give the cauliflower mash a taste, if needed season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

To serve, spoon the Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash into a porcelain serving bowl. Garnish with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and finely chopped fresh chives.

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